CRASH, p.8Pepper Pace
“In the real world, there actually is no end.” Lucas thought, because your story continues for as long as you live.
“There isn’t a beginning either. I mean, if you think of it from the perspective of a book; the beginning is just whatever point you want the book to begin. Books these days don’t begin with, ‘I was born and then I died.’”
“Were you intending to write a book about the events of your life?”
“I’m not Mouse, Lucas.” She sighed in sudden annoyance. He just nodded. She stood up and headed to the bathroom. “Goodnight, I’m off to bed.”
The next day Sophie emailed her submission to her agent and then they went to the movies. There was nothing more said about the conversation of the previous night and Sophie was happy.
There was only one movie currently playing that had a black cast but it was a Tyler Perry movie and Sophie said that it was a tearjerker and they needed something upbeat. They found a comedy in which they laughed loud and obnoxiously. Then they got pizza from a local gourmet pizza shop and Lucas warned her about the cheese and lactose intolerance so she only had two slices. He put the rest in the car for leftovers and then they walked across the courtyard to Barnes & Noble’s bookstore.
Now they were both in their element and Lucas found two books that he had wanted to read when he was living with his grandparents; The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, and The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Sophie searched for her books and then grinned widely when she found them. She ushered Lucas over and he proudly picked one up, opened the pages allowing it to fan out. He leaned forward and inhaled the fresh print.
Sophie’s eyes widened. She thought that she was the only one that sniffed books!
He looked at her. “I’m proud of you, Sophie.”
The smile slowly melted from her face as she watched him. They continued to watch each other unable to move their eyes from the other. Sophie felt her heart beating faster as she stared into Lucas’ beautiful baby blue eyes. His bruises had fully disappeared and he had only a small lump under one eye as a reminder of that shiner. Now that his face was no longer swollen, much of the baby look had disappeared. He still looked younger than his age, but at least he didn’t look like an elementary schooler. And the fact that he had begun trying to grow facial hair helped. He asked if she would mind before he attempted it, and curiosity caused her to give her consent.
Unfortunately, it didn’t fill in and he eventually had to shave it off, leaving only some chin hair and longish sideburns. She liked it, but it did take some getting used to.
He’d also put on some pounds, he wasn’t boney as much as he was now just lanky. Once he’d come upstairs in the middle of the night wearing a wife beater and she’d been battling another bout of insomnia and she saw that his once concaved belly now sported a six pack.
Sophie took a deep breath and turned away. He was just a kid; a kid in her care. There was no way that she should be thinking the thoughts that she was thinking! She slipped the book from his hands and replaced it on the bookshelf.
“It’s getting late. We should go. I can’t see very good at night.”
“Like Mouse,” he said.
She was surprised by an urge to smack him. Instead they went to the counter and he purchased his books then they drove home.
“Lucas, you should take a day where you devote it just for yourself,” Sophie said as she unlocked the front door. She had been thinking about that as they drove home. His life was so wrapped around her, he had no friends, no girlfriend and he was twenty-two. She knew he needed more than to be some lady’s manservant.
He was watching her curiously. The way he did that always let her know that he had a lot going on in his head but was smart enough to wait before speaking.
“Once a week I want you to do only things that Lucas wants to do, nothing for me.”
He shrugged. “But I don’t mind doing things for you. Plus it doesn’t take much of my time to make you a cup of hot tea when I’m making myself one, or to take your dinner in to the office when I take mine to the dining room.” His shrug indicated that he had rejected the offer.
“I think you should get out of the house and make some friends; maybe find a girl…or a boy.”
Lucas stiffened and Sophie’s face warmed.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean-”
“One day a week?” he asked. “To do whatever I want?”
“Yeah, I think that would be good for you.”
He nodded his consent. “What day?”
He nodded. “That sounds good.” It was Thursday now.
“You can borrow the car.”
“Thank you Sophie, I’ll let you know if I need it.”
“Okay.” He headed to the kitchen with the leftover pizza, placing it into the fridge and then downstairs with a short goodnight to her. She followed his tall lanky form with her eyes wondering what plans he would make for Sunday.
Lucas was lying on his back in the darkened basement, one arm tossed over his eyes as the other leisurely stroked his erect penis. He loved Sophie. He didn’t even have to think of the stories in her books to make him hard, all he had to do was to replay her smile, or the sound of her laughter, or even the odd way she had of squinting up at him and his cock twitched and surged to life.
She’d looked at him today in the bookstore and her dark eyes had flashed; the blackness had grown; dilated is what they called it. It meant that she was aroused. His hands moved more rapidly against his rock hard shaft and his breath caught in his throat. His back arched as his testicles tightened and through gritted teeth he cried out softly.
Sunday morning Lucas poked his head into the office. Sophie was writing. “I’m going now. I grabbed your car keys but I’ll just be a few hours.”
“Oh. Okay.” She responded while turning to him with an encouraging smile.
“I’ll fill up the tank. Thanks again, Sophie.”
“Enjoy yourself.” She said, resisting the urge to ask if he’d be home before dark.
Sophie studied the word document page and reread what she’d written three times before she pressed save and decided to check her messages. No messages, nothing from Candace, no new blog entries. With a bored sigh she contemplated watching television but she didn’t like TV much. And besides, it wasn’t that fun unless Lucas was there to enjoy it with her. They didn’t watch much but sometimes found a good movie on the Sundance Channel or TLC.
She grabbed her Kindle electronic book and decided to check out some of the selections that were top rated on Amazon. She was partially through one book when she checked the time and slammed down the Kindle in annoyance. Why was she sending Lucas out to find new friends when she was the anti-social one? Who was she fooling?! She hadn’t been out on a date since…she hadn’t been touched in so long she didn’t know what a man’s penis inside of her body felt like anymore. She hadn’t picked up a phone to chit chat with a girlfriend since she retired and told everyone she was always too busy to talk, to go out, to just have fun.
She kept telling herself, ‘I’m not ready; I’m not ready to be touched, I’m not ready to give my heart to someone again. But really, she just wasn’t ready to lose someone else that she loved. She thought back to the black writer’s convention and the sexy man that had watched her with open interest. And as soon as he had the chance he came over and told her that he’d read her first novel and had loved it. He was sexy with big chocolate eyes and a velvety black moustache that begged to be explored by her lips.
After a few drinks they had gone back to his hotel room and Sophie had been so ready, her panties were wet and every touch of his lips had brought electric currents coursing through her body. And then they were both naked and he was hard, she was wet and his sheathed penis had tried to enter her and she grew suddenly cold. His touch suddenly disgusted her, his mouth felt too demanding, the warmth of his ski
Sometimes, when she wrote, she could become the characters and experience their joy. How did she write so realistically? Because the only life she had anymore was through her characters. Sophie rubbed her eyes and looked at her wet fingertips. She sniffed back the tears that she didn’t realize had wet her lashes and she went to the kitchen for a glass. She opened the freezer and got out the grapefruit vodka that she kept buried in the very back. She filled her glass with ice and liberally poured the drink. She buried back her guilt. She never said that she wouldn’t drink again…only that she wouldn’t get drunk.
And she didn’t. She thought about her dead lover, cried for a moment over what they could have had, thought about their aborted baby and asked for forgiveness because now she had nothing. When she finished her pity party, Sophie washed out her glass, put it away and went into the bathroom to wash her face.
She felt better…but she didn’t…
Later she heard the car pull up around back just as she finished stripping the sheets from her bed. Her heartbeat sped up as she quickly gathered the sheets in her arms. She should have taken care of her laundry earlier so that she wouldn’t disturb Lucas. She had told him that the basement was his private space, and she shouldn’t be going down there when he was down there. She quickly slipped on clogs since she’d left her house shoes in the office and then hurried down the stairs to start the laundry.
Sophie didn’t realize that part of the fitted sheet was dragging the floor and when she went to take a step her foot got caught and did not move forward--but her body did. She went tumbling down the stairs face first.
Lucas had opened the trunk and was just about to stow his purchases in the storage shed when he heard a loud banging. He knew instantly that Sophie had either fallen or dropped something down the stairs. He slammed the trunk shut, forgetting about his purchases as he raced up the back stairs, ears perked for any sounds. And as he used the key to unlock the door he heard a low whimper turn into a loud wail and then an ear shattering scream.
It seemed as if Lucas could fly as his feet barely touched the floor. He saw her crumpled body at the bottom of the stairs and the next thing he knew, he was there with her.
She was tangled up in the bedding and he didn’t know if she’d broken something. Her mouth was opened in a silent scream and then she sucked in air and wailed in pain.
“SOPHIE!” He pushed the covers away and saw that her wrist was bent at a strange angle. His eyes bulged at the sight of it. Sophie was holding her injured appendage against her body and he didn’t think she’d seen it yet and he didn’t want her to.
“It’s okay, honey. It’s okay.”
“LUCAS!!!” She screamed.
He stood up on shaky legs. “I’m going to call an ambulance!”
“Nooo!” She begged. “Don’t leave me!” He knelt down and placed his head inches from her ear, holding her face firmly but gently in his palms.
“I’m not leaving, I’m going to get the phone and I’ll be back before you can count to five, okay?” He kissed her. She squeezed her eyes closed in agony but nodded. He released her and darted up the stairs for the cordless in the living room. He was back by her side in a flash. He was alarmed to see her in such an awkward position. She was on her back, head and shoulders on the landing, feet on the stairs, her neck twisted.
Jesus god…her neck was broken. But then she pulled herself up on her elbows.
He placed his hands on her shoulders. “Baby, don’t move. There might be something broken.”
“I need to get up-AHHH!” She screamed when she tried to place her injured hand on the landing in order to brace herself. Lucas hugged her, pressing her face against his chest, as much to quiet her as to prevent her from seeing the angle at which her wrist now lay. He began dialing 9-1-1 with shaky fingers. He tried to quiet Sophie’s cries as he tried to explain to the operator what the emergency was. When it came time to give the address he couldn’t remember it. He gave the street but not the numbers. And then he remembered that they would need to come through the back anyways so he explained that the house was right behind the Dairy mart and the Laundromat on the opposite side of the alley.
The operator named the streets Madd Anthony and Anthony Wayne and he yelled out his affirmation. She said an ambulance was on its way.
Sophie wasn’t screaming anymore but he thought that her sobs were much worse. No grown woman should ever sob like that. He pulled her into his arms, not thinking about the possibility of bones in her neck or back being fractured, he just needed to hold her close and to comfort her.
“Tell me where it hurts, baby.” He placed kisses all over her tear streaked face.
“My arm!” She wailed.
“Is that it?” He was rocking her gently now.
“My back.” She panted and tried to catch her breath.
“Up high or down low?”
“Low.” She was quieting some. “My shoulder hurts. I think my head hurts.” She had stopped crying and was just groaning low in her throat. He could hear the sirens.
“Sophie, I need to get the ambulance. I won’t be gone long. I need to make sure they know where we are.”
She closed her eyes but nodded slightly. He stood up with a grimace wondering if he should instruct her not to go to sleep. Damnit! He sprinted out the door wishing that he could be in two places at once. He ran to the alley and stood there waving like crazy and once he was sure that the ambulance driver saw him, he dashed back to the house and to Sophie’s side.
They said that she was very lucky, but she didn’t feel it. In fact, Sophie felt very UN-lucky. She’d suffered a broken wrist, dislocated shoulder, herniated disc, and various other bumps and bruises that could not be treated, but which hurt nonetheless.
She didn’t remember the ambulance ride; she didn’t even remember the fall really, but she did remember that Lucas had been there to take care of everything, and then she knew that she could relax because he was good at taking care of things.
When she awoke she was groggy on drugs and Lucas was just a big pale blur that gripped her good hand tightly. “I love you, Sophie. I love you so much. I’m so sorry I left, I won’t ever do that again. I should have been there!” Her eyes began to close again but she squeezed his hand and sighed feeling safe and loved.
The next time she woke up it was dark and she blinked and tried to see. She gasped and tried to sit up but could barely lift her limbs. There was a sudden movement and then she felt Lucas’ hand slip into hers.
“I can’t see!” She cried, panicking.
“Your glasses broke.” He urged her back down onto the bed and she relaxed at the sound of his soothing voice.
“I’m blind without my glasses,” she tried to explain.
“I know.” He placed his lips close to her ear, his face nuzzling her cheek and it felt so good that she shivered. “I’ll order you a replacement pair. Do you have a spare at home? My grandparent’s always kept their old glasses.”
“Yes. In the desk in the office.”
He pulled back slightly so that she could see him and even though he was very close it was good because she could see the blue of his eyes. “When you wake up, you’ll have your eyes again, now you sleep, okay? I’m going to take you home tomorrow.” He placed a light kiss on her lips. “I love you.”
CRASH by Pepper Pace / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes